Regenerative farming: the answer to sustainable food production?

In recent years, the conversation around sustainable food production has gained significant momentum — especially within the world of convenience food, which is traditionally quite a carbon rich subsection of the industry. With concerns over the environmental impact of traditional agriculture practices many farmers, consumers and scientists are exploring alternative approaches to food production. One such approach is regenerative farming.

What is regenerative farming?

Regenerative farming is a holistic approach to agriculture that looks to enhance the health and resilience of soil, plants, animals and ecosystems. Essentially, it aims to restore degraded land and promote biodiversity — whilst reducing the use of chemical inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. This innovative technique also emphasizes the importance of animal welfare and generating economic viability for farmers.

In the UK regenerative farming is gaining momentum among a growing number of farmers who are choosing to look beyond the conventional approach to agriculture. At The Wild Hare Group we are lucky enough to be dialled in to an extensive network of like-minded suppliers, creating a unique synergy that strives towards a common goal: protecting and preserving our environment for generations to come.

Many farmers are concerned about the impact of intensive farming on soil health, biodiversity and the wider issue of climate change, and regenerative farming offers a viable alternative that is also economically sustainable.

Why should we be championing a shift towards regenerative farming?

One of the fundamental benefits of regenerative farming is its ability to enhance soil health. Conventional agriculture practices often deplete soil nutrients and reduce soil biodiversity through processes like soil erosion. Regenerative farming, on the other hand, focuses on building healthy soil that is rich in organic matter, microorganisms and nutrients. Healthy soil not only produces healthier crops but also sequesters carbon, helping to mitigate climate change.

If real change is to occur, there must be a holistic approach within which consumers have access to sustainable food and producers are doing everything they can to look internally and take accountability

Regenerative farming also encourages biodiversity by creating habitats for a range of plants, insects and animals. Conventional agriculture practices often rely on monoculture crops that are sprayed with pesticides to control pests and diseases — which can have a negative impact on biodiversity. However, regenerative farming promotes the use of diverse crops and crop rotation to create a more diverse ecosystem.

Animal welfare is another key aspect of this approach. Conventional agriculture practices often involve intensive livestock production systems that prioritize efficiency and productivity over animal welfare. Regenerative farming, however, emphasizes the importance of providing animals with a natural and healthy environment, where they have access to pasture and a varied diet. Animals raised in regenerative farming systems are often healthier and happier, with their produce being more nutritious and flavourful.

What is the cost?

Regenerative farming is actually economically beneficial for farmers as it doesn’t rely on costly inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and machinery. Instead, it focuses on using natural inputs, which not only reduces costs, but also increases the resilience of farming systems to external shocks such as adverse weather or market fluctuations.

Are we entering a new age of carbon-conscious consumerism

As a carbon neutral ready meal brand, we consistently notice a shift in consumer behaviour, with increasing numbers of people making choices based on the environmental impact of their food. This trend has been driven by increasing awareness of climate change and the role that food production plays in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Food companies like us are responding to this demand by offering more sustainable products and reducing their overall carbon emissions. The increase in carbon-conscious consumption in the food industry is a positive trend that is helping to reduce its carbon footprint.

If real change is to occur, there must be a holistic approach within which consumers have access to sustainable food and producers are doing everything they can to look internally and take accountability. We are now, more than ever, in need of worldwide metrics that show all foods’ environmental impact, and we must not work against nature but instead work with it to achieve the best outcomes.